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about 10 novs in 2011 and 9novs in 2010. total complaints filed is about 49 complaints. * and the majority of the complaints that were filed were based on habitability and issues that were identified as a housing code violation. so, some issues concivility of no heat in the building, broken or inoperable windows, missing or no smoke detectors in the rooms, broken doorknobs or broken locks. holes in the walls. major, major pests and infestation not limited to bed bugs, mice, cockroaches. there's also leaks underneath bathroom sinks, broken sinks, electrical outlet issues, of course elevator in the building consistently breaks down. as mentioned, the latest violation is the inadequate public sanitary facilities for the hotel and, of course, not to mention that there's no uniform visitor policy [speaker not understood] common areas. also want to point out there
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were two major inspections done by dbi. one was a room by room inspection conducted by inspector [speaker not understood] back in december of 2010. and another recent one inspection that was conducted by inspector hearing closely with the city attorney side, that was issued this year in june. both novs are active. of course my recommendation is to actually deny this appeal, that the landlord has in froth of you and of course to move this for abatement. good morning, my name is [speaker not understood] and i'm an organizer at the tenderloin housing district. i want to give a more detailed insight regarding the issue of access in these buildings, especially the war field. it is extremely difficult to access. tenant organizers, community organizers who go inside the building -- i was greeted with
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hostility when i requested to meet with the tenants. the management's usually response is, get out of here. it is worth thinking about the fact if organizers are treat this had way, how much more the tenants who are uneducated about their rights are are being treated. we can see tenants are not present or not that many of them at least. the lack of preps is the proof of the fact that our efforts for outreach were not successful. we organizers have gone ourselves to speak with tenants. each time we are denied access and asked to get out of the building. the tenants at the war 1850s are on fixed income and most of them are on ssi or iga. they are afraid to come out and speak against the managers because they will be evicted. a specific example, just the other day i was waiting outside to speak to as many tenants as -- whom i could talk to because i was not allowed to go inside. when i was speak tog one of the tenants, they said let's go somewhere they can't see us because i'm afraid if they see me talking to someone from the
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collaborative they are going to -- they won't, you know, they're going to treat us differently. and i asked and they said, they don't open the door for us when we want to go in and they're denied visitors. you can see they're clearly fearful. and also i wanted to bring a specific issue regarding a room which i had seen, i had the opportunity to see before i was kicked out. it's room number 220 which had a ceiling that was falling off. could i put the picture right here? i know it's not clear because it's kind of [speaker not understood], but this is the ceiling here. that's the ceiling. >> could you pass it around? sure, i can pass it around here. here you go. this is a picture with broken window.
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and the [speaker not understood]. and then this is the trash -- yeah, [speaker not understood]. and then this is just a very small example of some of the rodent infestation which is very common in the building. and, in fact, it's not an isolated incident for people who are living there. to conclude this, we have given the operators ample opportunities to collaborate with us by inviting them to resolve the issue for the tenants along with us, writing letters, requesting [speaker not understood], they have not cooperated. we are requesting you to deny the appeal and move forward with the order of abatement.
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thank you. >> thank you. hi, my name is denise marney. i'm a peer counselor at the collaborative. which means when tenants come in and they're afraid to talk to people of authority, they can talk to a peer, somebody who lives in the tenderloin and knows what they're going through. with people like us, there's about 10 of us. i've been dealing with it 2-1/2 years and i've talked with numerous tenants from the war field. * many of them no longer come to the collaborative because they've left the building because they can't get their needs met. habitability as you heard is increasingly a problem. in june i saw a tenant who is here today, arthur gray, who came in and wanted to get a life line telephone. so, we provide low-income telephone services for tenants. and most hotels in the area have a phone jack in the rooms. arthur's room didn't have a phone jack. typically what we do is write a
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letter requesting that a phone jack be installed with ample time. this was in june. arthur doesn't have a phone jack in his room so he doesn't have a right to contact a doctor. he can't call 911 if he has a crisis. and with numerous visits -- i think i've been there three or four times, i've twice been denied access to the building and twice the manager told me that, yes, at&t is on the way and they'll be here today or tomorrow. so, constantly staving off this, not seeing it as a necessity,v not seeing it as a person's right to have a phone jack. i'm here to say whatever your power is in making sure this place is habitable, these people need their habitability rights taken care of. thanks. >> thank you. * good morning. my name is spayctionv.
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-- [speaker not understood]. i'm a tenant at the war field hotel. even though we have the bathrooms, we don't have one -- we only got one tub. it is filthy. bed bugs still. we have a lot of roaches. our privacy is denied, you know. we don't have no access. if somebody comes up, they'll say, he's not here, she's not there, right. okay. they should have a phone down in the lobby to call upstairs. we're denied our privacy to come up there. and they're very, very rude. you know, if you said -- i didn't have a bathroom. i have aids. i asked for a bathroom. my doctor wrote a thing for me to have a bathroom. [speaker not understood]. vertical, too. i'm denied a bathroom.
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it's very difficult in the building and it's very -- it's filthy. that's what it is. and the environment period is ugly. bathrooms, the shower heads, okay, i have got tb, right, and the shower heads don't have no shower heads in the bathroom. you know. it's just straight water. i'm like that, you know. it's off and on. and when they do do water construction thing, they don't post and say, hey, the water is going to be cut off for two hours. they don't even do that. the water is not on. they don't do that. they be neglecting from that right there. now, the garbage area is very,
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very bad. two people have got tuberculosis from that area right there, on the third and the fourth floor right there. they don't have no sanitation for the garbage part neither, you know. and many of the showers, the bathrooms, and the bed bugs be all in the carpets, you know. and we have no -- we asked for it. we're supposed to have a mattress, right. they said, okay, i'll do that then. as soon as i leave, they don't give you nothing. i don't have no mirror where i could groom myself, me and my wife could groom ourselves in the mirror or anything. the bed bugs is a very, very serious issue. [speaker not understood] all on my back from that right there.
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my doctor is giving me soap, extra soap and medication soap about this program -- i mean about this issue right here. he said, why don't you leave? i said, well, it's really, you know, like i said, i could leave out of here, but i've been there all this time and i got not really comfortable with it, but i'm waiting for this here because it's going to be a change up in here. >> i'm sorry, sir. your time is up. >> thank you. okay, thank you. >> any more public comment? >> three minutes, sir. good morning. my name is arthur [speaker not understood]. i would like to address the committee today in regards to a
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major issue, no heat in the building, okay. my room is so cold at night it's like sleeping in an ice box, okay. i shiver at night. it is so cold i can't even sleep at night sometimes. and every time i approach the manager, they say it's on a timer. so, we're all waiting for the time tore kick in, we're still freezing. [speaker not understood]. okay. when my good friend kelly said, the conditions of the building is ridiculous. i mean, it's unsanitary to the max. they do not clean the public showers and the rest rooms by law, sanitation laws, they do not do, that sir. i can assure you on that. [speaker not understood] the trash half the time. there's been severe harassment of visitors that come to visit a tenant. i've been there five years myself, okay. and just i can move any time i want. there's no law against that.
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[speaker not understood]. the rent money i'm not receiving services i'm paying for. the elevator keeps breaking down every two weeks. they get it going [speaker not understood]. i know it sounds funny now. it wasn't funny then. the elevator service is ridiculous. they'll get it running and it breaks down two weeks later. and there's a lot of people in wheelchairs, on crutches, seniors, disabled, they have to crawl down the stairs and abandon their wheelchairs in the lobby because they cannot even get down the stairs. some of them live on the fourth floor with me. it's ridiculous. we do not appreciate our visitors and our guests being told by the management that we've been removed or we're not there. it's either that or go the other way, harass them for walking down the hallway to use the rest room. [speaker not understood].
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he's got cameras in the hallways. we see someone walking down the hallway. you have to get out of there. why is that? you walked down the hallway. i do not remember hearing that against the law. you cannot walk down the hallway. i don't remember reading that anywhere, okay. unless there is some secret code that i'm not aware of. and any time we approach the management with negotiations, they either blatantly lie to us or they turn a deaf ear. i've been waiting six months for a phone jack. i could have built a phone by then, okay. these are the problems we're experiencing. i gave up on the phone jack. am i supposed to wait another six months? i could have called mars by now. it's ridiculous. i could have contacted a space shuttle by now, okay. with the phone jack [speaker not understood]. the tenants do not exist unless
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it's check day. that's what i'm trying to say. it's like this magic trick they play on the first. we exist momentarily to pay rent, then poof, we disappear again. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> do you have a comment? hello, my name is anthony bar low. i no longer live in the hotel, but i can testify that the things are true. i lived there for two years. the things were so horrendous, i moved last spring. like i said, everything is true. the bed bugs, horrendous. [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood] justice for people that are still there.
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>> any further public comment? seeing none. >> does the appellant want three minutes for rebuttal? >> thank you, commissioners, i'll be very brief. the issue before us is not about the issues that the tenants raised. there is no doubt that this -- these hotels have the problems. this is not the only one that runs into this. it's in the location of taylor and turk. i remember a few years back i was out there at nighttime at another hotel and walking around. there were bullets flying around and police cars. it's a really, really rough area. honestly it's hard to maintain these places with the tenants themselves who cause problems. i've been in many of them so i know what it's like. it's very, very hard work to keep them maintained from the cockroaches. i've seen people when they leave food and food has rotted away and sitting there in the room and just a lot of issues. before us is the matter of the bathrooms.
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that's what we've got to look at and concentrate on that. these other issues are separate and we should not be looking at that. so, getting back to the bathrooms, if you commissionerses decide we need to add these other bathrooms, we certainly would consider that, but we will need some time so when the rooms come up vacant, we'll go ahead and do that. that is where we are right now. >> when you say time, what kind of time are you talking about here? >> [speaker not understood] when a room becomes vacant, i would like three to six months. >> commissioner walker? >> first of all, i want to thank the tenants for coming and speaking to us about this issue. i think that we, a lot of us
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here, have seen some projects come forward and it's one of the reasons why we have funded the code enforcement outreach program, because the people doing the work trying to help the landlords make these conditions habitable is really the point. and it works really well. i can only appreciate the work that our code enforcement outreach does with our housing division. that being said, i urge us all to think about what it would be like living in these conditions. and your client has taken on a building that needs a lot of work and, you know, this is one of those situations where i feel like we can really do something, helping the landlord make conditions better there. so, i feel like a good solution is one that was offered of
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allowing for time to have an empty unit with a bathroom that's private being made public is a reasonable option for us. and for the people living in the building and the owner of the building. >> do you have a motion? >> yeah, i would move that we -- >> just a quick -- so, the time frame -- let's not talk about time frame. you had mentioned 3 to six months. but immediately we could probably organize on each floor in the bedrooms a secondary bathroom to -- could we organize that, henry? >> i wish we could because the room for that bathroom is inland. there is just no way that [speaker not understood] cutting in a door to take that away from the tenant that is in the room with the bathroom is going to be decreasing of the use of it for the tenants. >> rosemary, i have a question
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for you, too, actually. >> i don't believe when the commission asked mr. karnilowicz if the rooms, the guest rooms that have bathrooms are occupied by residential or tourist residents, whether that was answered. and if they're tourists, if they're shorter term, some of those rooms may become available. or are they residential? because even though a building may have residential and tourist rooms and be used primarily for residential, the fact of the matter is that what most of the operators do are they realize that they can have shorter -- may be used for residential use, but it can be shorter than a 7-day pier yd. i -- period. i think it would be transient. the hotel ordinance won't necessarily tell us, but we do have a list of what those rooms are. and it may be that some of those rooms may come up with -- earlier than 3 to six months to be able to do that * . or that's just a possible alternative. the property owner may have a vacant room that maybe a
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tourist room right now that they can use a portion of that to do a conversion with a building permit. since these are not all residential rooms, they could decrease the number of tourist rooms without any impact to the hotel conversion ordinance. so, there is that option and they can do that right now. >> in past cases, what has been -- even if ben wanted to talk to that, what has been the most -- you have a hotel that wants to comply, what has been the sweet spot with regard to the time frame where everybody feels this is -- >> that's a great question. in most situations, most residential hotels do not have private bathrooms. so, what would they have to do? they'd have to take one of the guest rooms and convert it into whatever, the sanitary facilities they need. we try and work with them and that resulted in a reduction of residential guest room designated by the hotel conversion ordinance. but you can see here they have plenty of tourist rooms on each floor. any one of which if they become vacant can use that. keep in mind that the number of residential tourist rooms, how
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you use them, can change in the building. so, when one today can be used for residential, form if that's validly vacant, it can be tourist. they move around the building. there is a dynamics there where truly, i would think, that in talking to my inspector, there may be at least one guest room per each floor that may become available, but they could use as a -- that they could use for conversion to a bathroom. and as far as it being vacant, it could be used in the futures as a tourist or residential room depending how many they have occupied in any given day. that's why they have to do logs. does that make sense? >> yes. plan a, as a kind of compromise plan, is it possible to facilitate the final plan with regard to having the bathrooms to the code? how long traditionally would the hotels be allowed to be given to do that? so, for example, if we have to pull the permits, you know.
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>> this is a 30-day notice which is very typical for us. we get them into the process and then we try and work with them. it is provocative before you already rather than going through the process with the director's hearing. but generally we would be pushing on the property owner to do this and we would be pushing on them to do it in sooner time than six months. within three, we would try and like to get it done or sooner, because these people only have one shower. the other thing is commissioner lee asked me a question as to when we found out about it. it's likely that on the other notices of violation, it may be site cited on there as well. we look at the garbage room to see whether it could have been a shower room. it definitely doesn't look like it, but we can't tell for sure. it could be at some point in time there was another shower in the building by virtue of the fact there are private bathrooms. we just don't know because there aren't plans readily available. >> i think my sense here is
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that the hotel lessee would like to do the right thing here. could i have ben or somebody -- just so i have -- please. state your name. [speaker not understood]. >> in these kind of negotiations, what would you think is a fair time frame so that they could comply? the challenge is in term of the room being [speaker not understood] for them to change it, nobody monitors when they're awake and when they're not. that kind of thing i don't think is the right framework to go with. but [speaker not understood]. they have ample time to do something. they've not done anything. i personally -- i know [speaker not understood] the bathroom issue, [speaker not understood]. so, i think it's done within a month or so or less. >> i'm just coming from a construction point of view because when we make -- i like to be realistic so we don't
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have the situation. so, it sound like a lot of bathrooms to put in in a month. >> what we want them to do, commissioner, is get the permit and get started. right now it's extensive now in three, six months. it easily probably could be done, the construction could be done within that period easily. >> commissioner, i think commissioner mccarthy was really asking for your experience on dealing with these situations and knowing about the tenants in these type of residential units. how often is the turn over rate? would you be able to -- >> in a building -- >> i think that's what we're trying to get a sense of. how often do tenants turn over so we get an idea of what -- if there is going to be a vacancy sooner. >> i just want to give a specific example. just yesterday went through a list of 20 people who came to the meeting from the war field
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hotel. and this was, i think, about 7 to 8 months ago that they had a meeting in our office. and i called every single one of those numbers and i want to say 80% of those people told me on the phone that they have moved out and i would say that's a really high turn over rate because that's six months. i think that the turn over rate is definitely high. i mean that's just one example that i can cite. >> commissioner mar? >> thank you. i just wanted to make a couple of brief comments. first, before we get into a specific about the dates when they should put in the bathroom, i'm not that inclined to extend the dates because to me there's not that many bathrooms to put in. we're talking about putting in one or two, four, that's it. the other thing is i think there's a catch-22 here. why -- and i know we're talking about the bathrooms today, but why are all these other things so outstanding? there's been a lot of time.
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i'll have to say this. i'm glad we're working with the s-r-o collaborative and other organizers to deal with this, but they are not a replacement for our inspectors. part of the problem is inspectors have to write these things up. that's the only thing that puts heat on the lessee or the owners. so, i'll say this to the organizers. it's great you guys try to work with the landlords, but don't wait till they don't let you in any more before you call us. that's number one. the other thing is to the department itself, our housing inspectors have to go in any way. i don't think they can only go in after waiting and waiting and waiting for the collaborative to invite them in. because i think that there has to be some regular checkups to these. and that's why things take so long, i think. that's just my gut level feeling. i feel that without the
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inspector -- inspectors cannot be stopped from going in. that's also the difference. that's the reason they have badges, this is that's the reason they have ids and they drive city cars. the landlords and the lessees and the managers cannot stop them from going in and going into the rooms they want to see. >> may i comment on that, commissioner? >> yes. >> it's not correct to say that the inspectors wait for the collaboratives to invite them in. we're in buildings like this constantly. the problem is an inspector is not a substitute for good management of a property, and that's what you're seeing. so, we write a notice, it gets repaired, it breaks again. and in most situations where we can document that as we did with the grand southern and other buildings for those of you that are on the litigation committee, we refer those to you and ask that they be referred to the city attorney. [speaker not understood] we are participating in a city attorney task force effort on this property. if that doesn't result in
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things being repaired, the litigation committee will see this case before it. it won't be the first time going through that particular course. i just want to clarify that issue. however, we can't be everywhere. we have vacancies of about five right now we're trying to fill. and it is definitely our intent, we're in these buildings as often as possible to change how they're being operated, but we will never be able to step into the shoes of on-site management. we just don't have that ability to do that. >> commissioner walker? >> yeah, i think that it's really important to know -- to remember the reason we put this code enforcement outreach program together and funded it. and that is to get people -- tenants oftentimes are afraid to talk to city representatives. it's really an outreach of our inspectors. they are doing the initial meet and greet and interviews and discussing things with the
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tenants, and then hopefully pass it along immediately to our department so that we know. because we have a housing division that really is -- it's sort of nationally renowned for its proactive inspections and clearly we have a lot of buildings in inventory that have issues, habitability issues. it's been a priority for this department which is why we have the tenant organizers helping us. so, having said that, i actually would like to move that we uphold the recommendation of the department, that we set a time limit of a month to file for the permits and three months to initiate it or put it together. it seems a reasonable amount of time. however the owner wants to do it, whether they want to take one of

November 21, 2012 9:30am-10:00am PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY Walker 2, Dbi 1, Rosemary 1, Wheelchairs 1, Bathrooms 1, Vertical 1, At&t 1, Denise Marney 1, Mccarthy 1, Lee 1, Mr. Karnilowicz 1, Kelly 1, Arthur Gray 1, Mars 1
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